This is Moderna Medicine

December 10, 2018

Moderna raised one of the largest biotech IPOs in history. Then its stock dropped more than 19%.
The Hustle Sponsored by MVMT
The Hustle Daily Email

A bitter pill: The day after the largest biotech IPO ever, Moderna’s stock fell more than 19%

Last week, Biotech company Moderna raised $604.3m in an IPO that valued the company at $7.5B. But, the celebration was short-lived: Its stock slumped more than 19% in its first day of trading. 

Moderna’s flashy IPO and historically bad first day send mixed signals about the biotech market, which was breaking records this year until the recent stock slump.

Don’t shoot the messenger RNA

Moderna specializes in messenger RNA therapy, a type of treatment that uses a patient’s own cells to fight diseases. If Moderna’s drugs work, they could provide revolutionary (and valuable) new treatments for cancer. 

But like many biotech companies, Moderna has yet to bring any drugs to market: Moderna is currently running 21 drug research programs (only 10 of which have passed the lab phase and moved on to human trials). 

Investors have pumped $7.1B into 60 biotech companies this year, making 2018 the 2nd largest year of biotech funding (after 2014). So, how can biotech companies raise billions without viable products?

Everyone’s hoping for a miracle (drug)

Biotech investing is like venture capital on steroids: Investors are happy to invest in dozens of experimental drugs because they only need 1 to succeed. 

Because pharmaceutical R&D is so expensive, many promising biotech startups IPO early so they have more money for research. But biotech stocks are still risky. 

Since the trade-war stock slump began, some investors have stopped taking their medicine. The Nasdaq Biotechnology index was up 14% in August: Now it’s up only 0.2% for 2018.

An uncertain prognosis

Moderna’s first day of trading was the 5th-worst performance of any 2018 IPO. Now, it’s uncertain whether the company will make a recovery. 

With its new cash, the company will have enough money to push its drugs through further clinical trials. 

But unless some of them show promising results in the near future, Moderna could be in trouble. Moderna spent $475m in operating expenses in 2017, and its funding will only last so long.

Get well soon, Moderna
Share on Facebook Share on LinkedIn Share on Twitter View in Browser

Altria, the owner of Marlboro, takes a $2B drag of the weed biz

Tobacco giant Altria (parent company of Philip Morris) is investing $1.8B into Canadian cannabis company Cronos Group.

The investment will give Altria (also owner of Marlboro), a 45% stake in Cronos, with an option to increase its ownership to 55% over the next 5 years.

Puff, puff… pass?

It was only a matter of time before major cigarette companies got into the budding joint industry. 

As Quartz notes, outlets have speculated since the ’60s that cig companies were waiting patiently to pounce on legalization, alleging that they had already copyrighted names like “Acapulco Gold” and “Tijuana Gold” in anticipation.

However, letters from key tobacco industry players vehemently denied the notion for decades. Of course, now that other companies are smelling the dank (such as Molson Coors and Constellation Brands), big cig is rippin’ and roaring to take a hit. 

Looking for a re-light

Altria’s stock has fallen nearly 25% in 2018, and the company is expected to report a measly revenue growth of 1% this year, with the plateau expected to continue in 2019. 

Bottom line, cigarette companies are fighting tooth-and-tar to remain relevant as people cut back on cancer sticks (Altria is also in talks to invest in Juul).

And, from a revenue standpoint, Altria isn’t in it for a contact high, they’re lookin’ to get stunk from a nearly $2B gravity bong, in hopes that going green will wean the company off its tobacco addiction.

   @ Me Anything
Wes Schlagenhauf, News Writer at The Hustle

Big tobacco is the cockroach of industry. If Marlboro starts selling spliffs I’m outta here.
Show this thread
» Business is soooo crazy, man

Walmart purchases to add to its gallery wall of e-commerce acquisitions

Walmart acquired last week, adding the company’s home decor business to its growing roster of acquisitions. 

To challenge Amazon’s e-commerce dominance, Walmart has spent hundreds of millions acquiring successful companies that enhance the Big W’s e-commerce “category expertise” and “assortment” — and looks great next to past buys like, ModCloth, and Bonobos.

More than just a pretty domain name

According to Walmart, does $300m in annual revenue. The 20-year-old company is “the world’s largest online retailer in the art and wall decor category,” according to Walmart’s release.

But more importantly, gives Walmart a strong (and immediate) foothold in the $10B art and wall decor market. 

Walmart plans to operate as its own domain and include its products on Walmart’s site, much like its other recent acquisitions.

Amazon kills off its e-tail rivals, Walmart just buys them

Over the next few months, Walmart plans to continue improving its e-commerce sites, especially for home goods and fashion. But Walmart’s acquisition streak is just getting started.

“Just four brands aren’t going to do it, but imagine 40,” Walmart’s head of US e-commerce, Marc Lore, explained to investors earlier this year.

» Walm-ART

Chinese investors cleat up to buy the owner of Louisville Slugger

Chinese investors offered to buy Amer Sports, the massive Finnish sports company that owns American sports brand staples Louisville Slugger, Wilson and many others, for more than $5B.

The consortium, led by China’s Anta Sports, has offered $45 per share to acquire the sports company — nearly 14% above the stock’s closing price.

The many lives of Amer

The Finnish-based company was established in 1950 as an industrial conglomerate with a wide array of interests in tobacco trading (it held a 75% market share in Finland at its peak), ship owning, and publishing.

Then, in the ’80s, the company moved into the vehicle import industry and dabbled in the textiles and plastics markets before finally settling into sporting goods in 1986, when it first acquired a majority stake in the golf equipment maker MacGregor Golf from Jack Nicklaus.

Aside from Louisville and Wilson, Amer now owns premiere trail running brand Salomon, outdoor brand Arc’teryx, and the ski brand Atomic.

So why is Anta stepping up to the plate?

According to Bloomberg, Anta (which has a market value of about $12.7B), is uppin’ the ante on its business overseas amid the Chinese government’s push to expand in sports ranging from soccer to skiing.

With brands like Salomon and Atomic, Amer could be an attractive prospect for Anta ahead of the upcoming Olympic Games in Asia.

» Best d*mn sports gear ever

Wrapping paper is for shmucks

The same shmucks that give socks, canned popcorn, and oven mitts as gifts. 

You’re not one of them. You’re better than that. And your gift is so classy, the box it came in is a gift itself. 

That’s because you’re gifting MVMT

Right now when you buy a MVMT watch, strap, and bracelet, you’ll get a free gift box — and not just any box, but a drop-dead gorgeous one.

Give that special someone the clean looks and minimalist stylings of MVMT’s most popular wrist-pieces, all wrapped in a sleek, stealthy package (just look at it…it screams “open me”). 

Shop the full lineup below. No code necessary because, hey, we’re way past that. 

Watch the box → monday morning review

Do what you want to

Back in 2013, a short video made the rounds of a mysterious 70-year-old named ‘Slomo,’ who skates up and down Pacific Beach in slow motion, balancing on one leg, and grinning like a goon for hours on end.

His legend precedes him. Locals speculate that he was either homeless, or crazy, and some had heard that he suffered from ‘face blindness’ — turns out, only that part is true.

Dr. John Kitchin (AKA, ‘Slomo’) is a former neurologist who — when his vision started to fail him in middle-age — left his successful practice to pursue the only thing that made him truly happy: rollerblading.

Kitchin traded in his white coat for a bucket hat; his BMW for blades; and his prestige for judgment from friends and strangers — all in the spirit of just doing what he really wanted to do.

When I first saw this video years ago, it struck a nerve. I was going through a major life change myself: leaving the engineering field to pursue a writing career.

On paper, it was ill-advised. People would tell me I was selling myself short — that I could have an illustrious career as a ‘Woman in STEM (™)’ and I could always write on the side, right? 

You know what I support more than women in STEM? Women doing whatever the f*ck they want. People doing what makes them happy, unabashedly and unapologetically. 

This is not to incite a purge-like uprising of desk workers looting Best Buys and buying one-way tickets to Costa Rica. This is just to say, you always have options. 

People are reasonable, skills are transferable and, if you find your personal ‘fountain of youth,’ you don’t have to keep buying FIJI water just because everyone else tells you it’s good. 

When in doubt, do what you want to.

Lindsey Quinn, Managing Editor of The Hustle

(Read the full post here and watch the SLOMO video.)

Now Playing Now Playing:
That’s Us/Wild Combination, Arthur Russell. 80s-infused pop-rock from a classical cellist.
Zack Crockett
Zack Crockett
Wes Schlagenhauf
Wes Schlagenhauf
Conor Grant
Conor Grant
Kolby Hatch
Kolby Hatch
Lindsey “I smoked pot with Phillip Morris in college” Quinn
Howie Vasive
Senior Press Secretary
Facebook Instagram YouTube
Join our Instagram community →
You opted in by signing up, attending an event, or through divine intervention. 771 CLEMENTINA STREET, SAN FRANCISCO, CA 94103, UNITED STATES415.506.7210 Never want to hear from us again? Break our hearts and unsubscribe
The Hustle

Get the 5-minute roundup you’ll actually read in your inbox

Business and tech news in 5 minutes or less

100% free. We don’t spam. Unsubscribe whenever.


How'd Bezos build a billion dollar empire?

In 1994, Jeff Bezos discovered a shocking stat: Internet usage grew 2,300% per year.

Data shows where markets are headed.

And that’s why we built Trends — to show you up-and-coming market opportunities about to explode. Interested?

We’re shooting our shot…

Start your mornings with The Daily.

Get the freshly baked 5-minute newsletter every day except Saturdays.

It’s filled with the most interesting stories on business, tech, and the internet.

And written for innovators of every industry. Sign up for the news that slaps.

If you don’t like it, unsubscribe any time. Privacy policy.

[email-submission-form redirect-to-home="true" button-text="Join Free" include-trends-opt-in="true" id="main-signup-form" fail-url="" success-url="" default-source="thehustleco" default-campaign="home"]
<script type="text/javascript"> var onloadCallback = function() { grecaptcha.render('verify-your-humanity', { 'sitekey' : '6LdddrcZAAAAALyttpvOqiwQGwq5BNhgDz4tMQGE' }); }; function getCookieValue(a) { var b = document.cookie.match('(^|[^;]+)\\s*' + a + '\\s*=\\s*([^;]+)'); return b ? atob(decodeURIComponent(b.pop())) : ''; } function setHiddenFieldValue(wrappingDiv, searchParams, className, utmName, cookieName, defaultValue) { var el = wrappingDiv.getElementsByClassName(className)[0]; var existingVal = el.getAttribute('value'); var newVal = searchParams.get(utmName) || getCookieValue(cookieName); if ((existingVal == null || existingVal == '' || existingVal == defaultValue) && (newVal != null && newVal != '')) { el.setAttribute('value', newVal); } } function setHiddenFieldValueFromUtm( wrappingDiv, searchParams, className, utmName, defaultValue ) { var el = wrappingDiv.getElementsByClassName(className)[0]; if (el != null) { var existingVal = el.getAttribute("value"); var newVal = searchParams.get(utmName); if (newVal != null && newVal != "") { el.setAttribute("value", newVal); } } } function initForm() { var wrappingDivs = document.getElementsByClassName('email-submission'); wrappingDivs.forEach(wrappingDiv => { var sp = new URLSearchParams(; setHiddenFieldValue(wrappingDiv, sp, 'funnel-source', 'utm_source', 'funnel_source', 'thehustleco'); setHiddenFieldValue(wrappingDiv, sp, 'funnel-campaign', 'utm_campaign', 'funnel_campaign', 'home'); setHiddenFieldValue(wrappingDiv, sp, 'funnel-medium', 'utm_medium', 'funnel_medium', ''); setHiddenFieldValue(wrappingDiv, sp, 'funnel-referral', 'ref', 'funnel_referral', ''); setHiddenFieldValueFromUtm(wrappingDiv, sp, 'funnel-a', 'a', ''); setHiddenFieldValueFromUtm(wrappingDiv, sp, 'funnel-c', 'c', ''); setHiddenFieldValueFromUtm(wrappingDiv, sp, 'funnel-o', 'o', ''); setHiddenFieldValueFromUtm(wrappingDiv, sp, 'funnel-oc', 'oc', ''); setHiddenFieldValueFromUtm(wrappingDiv, sp, 'funnel-e', 'e', ''); setHiddenFieldValueFromUtm(wrappingDiv, sp, 'funnel-f', 'f', ''); setHiddenFieldValueFromUtm(wrappingDiv, sp, 'funnel-r', 'r', ''); setHiddenFieldValueFromUtm(wrappingDiv, sp, 'funnel-t', 't', ''); setHiddenFieldValueFromUtm(wrappingDiv, sp, 'funnel-s1', 's1', ''); setHiddenFieldValueFromUtm(wrappingDiv, sp, 'funnel-s2', 's2', ''); setHiddenFieldValueFromUtm(wrappingDiv, sp, 'funnel-s3', 's3', ''); setHiddenFieldValueFromUtm(wrappingDiv, sp, 'funnel-s4', 's4', ''); setHiddenFieldValueFromUtm(wrappingDiv, sp, 'funnel-s5', 's5', ''); var error_message = getCookieValue('funnel_error_message'); if (error_message && error_message.trim() != '') { var error = wrappingDiv.getElementsByClassName('funnel-error')[0]; var prev_email = getCookieValue('funnel_email'); error_message = prev_email + " is not valid. Please try again"; error.innerHTML = error_message; = ''; } }); if (false) { initCaptchaFormV2(); } } function initCaptchaFormV2() { var v3RecaptchaResponseEl = document.getElementById('recaptcha-response-v3'); v3RecaptchaResponseEl.parentNode.removeChild(v3RecaptchaResponseEl); var wrappingDiv = document.getElementById('main-signup-form'); var subForm = wrappingDiv.getElementsByClassName('email-submission')[0]; var captchaVersion = document.createElement('input'); captchaVersion.class = 'g-recaptcha hidden-input'; captchaVersion.type = 'hidden'; = 'g-recaptcha-response-v2'; captchaVersion.value = 'true'; subForm.appendChild(captchaVersion); var captchaEl = document.createElement('div'); = 'verify-your-humanity'; subForm.appendChild(captchaEl); var captchaApiScriptEl = document.createElement('script'); captchaApiScriptEl.src = ''; captchaApiScriptEl.async = true; captchaApiScriptEl.defer = true; document.head.appendChild(captchaApiScriptEl); } function appendCheckboxes() { var optInDivs = document.querySelectorAll('.trends-opt-in'); optInDivs.forEach(el => { if (el.getElementsByClassName('trends-opt-in-checkbox').length < 1) { var checkbox = document.createElement('input'); checkbox.setAttribute('class', 'trends-opt-in-checkbox'); checkbox.setAttribute('type', 'checkbox'); checkbox.setAttribute('name', 'trends_opt_in'); var label = document.createElement('label'); label.setAttribute('class', 'trends-opt-in-text'); label.textContent = "Yes, I'd like to receive updates on market opportunities before they explode from Trends by The Hustle"; el.appendChild(checkbox); el.appendChild(label);; } }) } window.addEventListener('DOMContentLoaded', (event) => { var funnel_email_cookie = getCookieValue('funnel_email'); if ( (true) && (funnel_email_cookie != null && funnel_email_cookie != '') ) { window.location.replace('/home'); } initForm(); if (true) { appendCheckboxes(); } }); </script> <div class="email-signup" id=main-signup-form> <div class="funnel-error" style="display:none;"></div> <form class="email-submission" action="" method="post" autocomplete="email"> <div class="email-form-wrap"> <input class="funnel-source hidden-input" type="hidden" name="source" value="thehustleco"> <input class="funnel-campaign hidden-input" type="hidden" name="campaign" value="home"> <input class="funnel-medium hidden-input" type="hidden" name="medium"> <input class="funnel-referral hidden-input" type="hidden" name="referral_code"> <input class="funnel-fail-url hidden-input" type="hidden" name="fail_url" value=""> <input class="funnel-a hidden-input" type="hidden" name="a" value=""> <input class="funnel-c hidden-input" type="hidden" name="c" value=""> <input class="funnel-o hidden-input" type="hidden" name="o" value=""> <input class="funnel-oc hidden-input" type="hidden" name="oc" value=""> <input class="funnel-e hidden-input" type="hidden" name="e" value=""> <input class="funnel-f hidden-input" type="hidden" name="f" value=""> <input class="funnel-r hidden-input" type="hidden" name="r" value=""> <input class="funnel-t hidden-input" type="hidden" name="t" value=""> <input class="funnel-s1 hidden-input" type="hidden" name="s1" value=""> <input class="funnel-s2 hidden-input" type="hidden" name="s2" value=""> <input class="funnel-s3 hidden-input" type="hidden" name="s3" value=""> <input class="funnel-s4 hidden-input" type="hidden" name="s4" value=""> <input class="funnel-s5 hidden-input" type="hidden" name="s5" value=""> <input class="funnel-success-url hidden-input" type="hidden" name="success_url" value=""> <input id="recaptcha-response-v3" class="g-recaptcha hidden-input" type="hidden" name="g-recaptcha-response" value=""> <input class="signup-email" type="email" name="email" placeholder="Your email address" required autocomplete="email"> <input class="email-submit" type="submit" value="Join Free"> </div> <div class="trends-opt-in"></div> <div submit-success> <template type="amp-mustache"> <p class="c-message c-message--success">Thank you for subscribing.</p> </template> </div> <div submit-error> <template type="amp-mustache"> <p class="c-message c-message--failed">Your submission failed. Please try again!</p> </template> </div> </form> </div>